Who Qualifies for an Autism Service Dog?
Any autistic person may qualify for an autism service dog; they are available for both children and adults. If an autistic person cannot properly function in one or more different aspects of their daily life, they may qualify for an autism service dog.
However, it is up to their medical or mental health professional to determine and prescribe an autism service dog; just like any other form of treatment, it must be signed off by a doctor to be considered an official service animal.
Without proper paperwork, you may not be permitted to bring your autism service dog everywhere you go, and your employer, housing manager, or any transportation service may reject both you and your animal, or transportation services may charge you an extra fee since your service animal will only be considered a pet.
How do service dogs help with autism?
Social interactions are essential to cognitive and linguistic development. For children with ASD, normal interactions with others are difficult and they often withdraw into their own world, isolating themselves. A service dog acts as a social facilitator, a magnet to other children who will come and ask questions about the dog and want to pet the dog. The dog provides something to talk about and with these repeated positive interactions, the child learns to open up and get more comfortable talking with others.
A service dog could also:
How long does it take to get a trained service dog obtained and at home?
Getting a service dog is a lengthy process that includes a waitlist and training period. You can expect to wait for around one year, likely longer.